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Supreme Court ruling on age discrimination

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2020 | Employment Law |

Many employees in California and around the country are impacted by workplace discrimination. A United States Supreme Court decision may help those who have experienced age discrimination prevail in court.

The Court has ruled that federal employees who have experienced age-based workplace discrimination may be entitled to some legal relief even if age was not the sole factor. Obtaining complete relief in court still requires proof that an employee’s age was a primary factor in the employer’s negative action.

The plaintiff, a clinical pharmacist at the VA, alleged that her employer’s decisions adversely affected her job duties, salary and opportunities for promotion. During oral argument, the plaintiff’s attorney asked if the phrase “OK, boomer” would be acceptable for use by a hiring manager. The Court held that the phrase qualified as age discrimination and stated that employer actions must be “untainted by any consideration of age.”

The Court’s decision allows employers to claim age bias as a factor in workplace discrimination cases under the Age Discrimination Act of 1967. A dissenting opinion stated that the majority’s ruling allows workers to claim age discrimination even if they have been hired or promoted.

Employees who have been affected by age discrimination may benefit from speaking to an attorney with experience handling employment law claims. An attorney may be able to advise clients about what steps to take first and how to approach a company’s human resource’s department. The recent Supreme Court decision may help litigants who have experienced age discrimination obtain more relief than was previously possible. An attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement on an employee’s behalf for job reinstatement, back pay, attorney fees, pay for lost future earnings and other amounts.